Doctoral Studies Dean Reflects on New Location and Future Plans

September 04, 2018

Olivet University (OU) had an exclusive interview with Zinzendorf School of Doctoral Studies (ZSDS) Dean Dr. Donald Tinder on operating the program at the new Mill Valley Campus in San Francisco.

The ZSDS dean reflected upon moving into the new campus and preparing the school for next quarter.

"We praise God for allowing us to lease this new campus with all the appropriate facilities for so many of Olivet's programs including our doctoral programs. Our senior faculty are especially grateful that this will allow us opportunities for more interaction with the students and staff that are in residence," said Dr. Tinder.

This year's annual colloquium will be held at the San Francisco campus for the first time. Dr. Tinder expects new additions to the doctoral seminars when compared with previous years. Additionally, seminars for D.Min. and PhD students will be hosted separately, which were held combined otherwise.

The local campus site would mean less traveling time for many in-residence faculties, thus allowing more time to be available to the students.

"We have an exciting lineup of choices so that our second-year students can select the best ones that will help them in preparing for their final projects and their ongoing ministries," added Dr. Tinder, when asked about new changes proposed for the program. As more and more students are showing interest in the doctoral programs at Olivet, Dr. Tinder is hoping to implement new plans and prioritize student care, especially networking them with mentors.

"We hope that by next spring our faculty and staff will have accomplished this priority of linking Mentors so that we can consider new applications," said Dr. Tinder. "Once that is done, since we have so many more students than when we began, we expect to make some refinements that will allow for a choice of specializations within the program appropriate to the range of ministries in which our students are gifted and called."

A new proposal was also offered for the PhD program. Instead of week-long seminars, the school will be having a colloquium where students and faculty gather from all over to report and be examined on their mostly individual studies to that point. The new plan would provide added opportunities for face-to-face interaction with the professors who would normally be supervising students online.

"PhD is a rigorous, research-based program, culminating in making an original contribution to scholarship. In our case, the dissertation is to contribute to the global outreach of winning people to Christ and leading His followers to maturity," said Dr. Tinder.

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